That obstacle, Gov. Jay Nixon, who must sign the bill in order for it to go into effect, is making no commitments on whether he will do so:
But Nixon was noncommittal Friday when asked if he would sign the new measure, saying he wanted to talk with teachers and local school boards before making a decision.
A judge placed Missouri's law on hold shortly before it was to take effect Aug. 28, declaring that "the breadth of the prohibition is staggering" and the law "would have a chilling effect" on free-speech rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.
Shortly after the judge's order, Nixon added the online communications law to the agenda of a special session that began Sept. 6. Nixon's written message to lawmakers specifically limited them to repealing the law, but lawmakers decided to also make districts develop their own policies. That's part of the reason why Nixon is pausing before signing the bill.
"It would appear that they've gone in a broader focus than what my intent was when we brought folks to town" for a special session, Nixon said.
With the new law stating that all Missouri school districts must have a teacher-student communication policy in place by March 1, 2012, the question appears to be, is this really putting the issue in the hands of local school boards, administrators, and teachers, or if it is turning the task over to the Missouri School Boards Association, which writes policy for most Missouri schools.
It seems hard to believe Mrs. Cunningham would have signed off on this "fix" if it really gave teachers input into the policies.